Friday 31 July

Last night we revisited the Cape of Good Hope and enjoyed another meal there. This is our fourth visit to this hostelry over the years and it hasn’t disappointed yet.   The pub looks very inviting from the canal but from the roadside looks nothing special.

This morning we popped into the shop on the Saltisford Arm and picked up a copy of the August edition of Towpath Talk, the free newspaper for boaters. We also made a donation to the Saltisford Trust even though it is free to moor there overnight. The residents we met on site all smiled and passed the time of day, although there was one guy who lingered as we left and who then followed us on foot down the arm and watched us turn towards Royal Leamington Spa from behind the security mesh as though making sure we’d actually left.   We wondered if we’d omitted to do something expected of us but as he didn’t call out we carried on.

We passed Kate Boats where we hoped to pick up a new gas canister, but we were surprised to find that their yard was closed today.

We were running low on groceries and decided to call at Tesco. We’ve shopped at this store twice before and it never ceases to amaze me that this store has made absolutely no provision for passing boats other than to provide some mooring bollards. The moorings are screened from the store by unkempt trees, and it is impossible to get a shopping trolley of groceries anywhere near a boat as the store has installed some mechanism that locks the trolley wheels making it totally immobile about fifty feet short of the canal.

My Knight in shining armour came to meet me to help me carry the bags and after we’d had a quick bite of lunch we moved off again.   We passed LIDL who have provided excellent moorings for passing boats and a bit further on we discovered that it is also possible to moor up adjacent to Morrisons and a new pedestrian crossing means you no longer get mown down by traffic.   We wished we known.

We moored up in Royal Leamington Spa, leaving Max on board, and went off to stroll around the town and visit some of the more unusual independent shops. Had money been no object we could have spent a fortune. Leamington Spa is well worth a visit as this town is very picturesque with its regency architecture. It is a shame that it only shows its shonky side to the canal as I’m sure many boaters just pass through.

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